Detectives with the Corpus Christi Police Department’s Narcotics and Vice Investigations Division conducted an undercover operation Friday evening, checking compliance at fifteen beer and wine retailers across the city. Three of the retailers visited by Investigators sold alcoholic beverages to individuals under the age of 21. NVID’s goal is zero.
During the operation, four cooperating individuals, under the direction and close supervision of NVID Detectives attempted to purchase alcoholic beverages from various convenience stores throughout the city. All four individuals are over the age of eighteen but under twenty-one, the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages in Texas. NVID Detectives checked fifteen businesses and clerks at three of those stores sold alcoholic beverages to the underage operatives.
The store clerks who sold the alcoholic beverages, face a charge of Sale to Minors (TABC 106.3) a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4000. NVID will forward the results of this operation to the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission for administrative action against the permittees, which could include revocation, suspension and/or fines.
Friday’s operation was conducted in advance of next weekend’s anticipated large influx of Spring Breakers, as underage drinkers from colleges and high schools flock to Corpus Christi beaches to enjoy the sun and fun. The goal behind Friday’s operation is to ensure that all Spring Break visitors to our city can enjoy their time here without the tragedy that often accompanies underage drinking. Alcohol is a common denominator in underage traffic fatalities, and frequently leads to numerous other negative consequences. “Thus far, we have had a relatively safe Spring Break, and we need the cooperation of our partners in the business community to help us keep it that way,” said CCPD Investigations Bureau Assistant Chief Todd Green. NVID intends to conduct more of these operations in the near future, including repeat visits of previous offenders. NVID will send letters to all of the businesses that were inspected, including those that were in compliance. For those businesses that were not in compliance, future infractions will likely result in the immediate arrest of the offenders.
The Corpus Christi Police Department continues to collaborate with all government and private entities to combat underage drinking and help accomplish our mission of working with the community to reduce crime, reduce the fear of crime and enhance public safety.